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Emerson: conclusion to Doha Round urgent

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Trade minister Craig Emerson has said the world must have a "red hot go" at delivering a conclusion to the Doha Development Round in 2011. "Our sense is there is not a lot of movement and there’s not much time-in fact, very little time-to go before we won’t be able to hit the 2011 deadline," he said in an interview with ABC News on 20 March. The G20 Seoul Summit in 2010 set a deadline of November 2011 to conclude the decade-long World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations. Emerson believes participating countries have been too focused on the costs of trade liberalisation. The current round of trade liberalisation talks began in Doha, Qatar in 2001 and has stalled repeatedly over conflict between developed and developing nations. Developed economies led by the United States, the European Union and Japan are insisting emerging economies open up their markets, while developing nations including Brazil, China, India and South Africa are demanding a reduction on domestic agricultural subsidies in developed countries. Emerson is concerned this should not become an insurmountable obstacle to reaching agreement. "All right, have a discussion about the price for success. But there should be a real discussion about the price of failure. The price of failure would mean a deterioration in our international trading rules."

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